U.S. Spots Russian Commandos in Syria

AP

AP

Spetsnaz troops helping Syrian, Hezbollah, foreign forces near Aleppo, Latakia

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz and Adam Kredo, Feb. 2, 2016:

Russian special operations troops are working covertly in Syria to support an array of Iranian-backed fighters, including members of the international terrorist group Hezbollah, U.S. defense officials and counterterror experts say.

The Spetsnaz commandos were detected working closely with military forces of the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, as well as several Iranian-backed groups, which even include armed Iraqis and Afghans.

Officials did not disclose the specific numbers of Spetsnaz troops in Syria but said the numbers were in the dozens.

Recent operations involving Spetsnaz forces have been focused on attacking anti-regime rebels near the northern city of Aleppo. The city has also been a target of Russian airstrikes.

However, officials said reports from Syria that Spetsnaz troops are working with pro-Iranian Hezbollah forces are a growing concern. Officials are worried the terrorist group, which is known for attacking Americans, will gain valuable military know-how from the Russian commandos.

Hezbollah, or Party of God, is a Lebanon-based terror group that the U.S. Counterterrorism Center has linked to numerous attacks that have killed scores of Americans since the 1980s.

“Although Hezbollah’s leadership is based in Lebanon, the group has established cells worldwide,” the Center states.

Hezbollah’s leader stated in May 2013 that the group is backing the Assad regime by dispatching fighters to Syria.

“Russian-Hezbollah cooperation and coordination in Syria has been going on since the outset of Russia’s entry into the civil war,” said David Daoud, a Middle East analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“Iranian and Hezbollah sources have openly admitted, on a number of occasions, that Hezbollah ground operations during key battles in the war were carried out with Russian air support,” Daoud said. “So it wouldn’t be surprising that there’s now cooperation between Hezbollah’s ground forces and Russian special forces.”

Despite its record of anti-U.S. attacks, the U.S. government has done little to counter Hezbollah or retaliate against it.

Hezbollah’s military commander, Imad Mughniyah, was killed in a car bomb attack in Damascus in February 2008. Israel was suspected of carrying out the bombing.

Iranian-backed militants and organizations like the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have long been suspected of serving as Russia’s de facto “ground force” in Syria, according to defense officials monitoring the situation.

One Pentagon official recently told the Washington Free Beacon that military sources have continued to monitor “Iranian-sponsored forces providing support to the Syrian regime in their fight against Syrian opposition forces.”

Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, disclosed late last year that military leaders had informed him of Hezbollah-led “ethnic cleansing” campaigns.

“I’ve been briefed on the fact that [Iran is] even bringing in militias from Hezbollah and their families into Sunni dominated neighborhoods in Damascus and running their Sunni population out as they basically do an ethnic cleansing campaign,” Royce said.

The deployment of Russian special operations troops to Syria illustrates the growing role for covert military forces from numerous countries in the war-torn country.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter disclosed last month that U.S. special operations commandos are operating in Syria to assist rebel forces opposing the Islamic State (ISIS).

The U.S. commandos were sent in November as part of the Obama administration’s latest strategy to defeat the terrorist group.

The elite U.S. warriors are engaged in intelligence-gathering, targeting enemy forces, and advising rebels.

“These operators have helped focus the efforts of the local, capable forces against key ISIL vulnerabilities, including their lines of communication,” Carter said in a speech Jan. 13, using an alternative acronym for ISIS. “They are generating new insights that we turn into new targets, new strikes, and new opportunities.”

Recent news reports from Syria have indicated Hezbollah is working with Spetsnaz troops in the eastern part of the country.

The Arabic-language Al Rai newspaper reported on Jan. 26 that the commandos were making military advances in the mountains north of Latakia.

“Special forces from the Russian army equipped with Howitzer artillery, supported by warplanes and backed by elite units from Lebanon’s Hezbollah … have been entering the fiercest of battles in the heights and towns of Latakia,” the newspaper reported. The paper quoted sources in a Damascus operations center that included military forces from Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah.

Boris Zilberman, also with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the Russian-Hezbollah collaboration is not surprising.

“Russia recently said they do not consider Hezbollah a terrorist group and there are unconfirmed reports that Hezbollah militants participated in the search and rescue of the downed Russian Su-24 pilots,” Zilberman said.

Two Russian pilots were shot down and one killed when their aircraft strayed into Turkish airspace in November.

Russia continued airstrikes in northern Syria on Monday with Moscow reporting attacks on ISIS oil depots near Aleppo and other areas.

Two weeks ago, Western reporters visited Russia’s main Syrian base at Hmeimim, near Latakia, where Spetznaz troops were seen conducting security details. The commandos reportedly were dispatched to Syria on orders from Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s special operations troops are considered among the most well-trained and well-equipped elite troops used for both combat and intelligence-related activities.

Russian bombers destroyed more than 1,300 terrorist targets in 468 sorties over the past week, Russia’s state-run Interfax news agency reported Feb. 1.

The strikes were carried out by Tu-22 bombers and Su-35 strike aircraft.

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Paris Terrorists Introduced, Warn West in New ISIS Beheading Video

isisparisvideo.sized-770x415xcPJ Media,  by Bridget Johnson, Jan. 24, 2016:

ISIS released a new video today with statements from the Paris attackers, vowing to kill westerners in their homes and chiding Muslims to join jihad now.

The 17-minute film, “Kill Them Wherever You Find Them,” was released in English, Arabic and French by Al-Hayat Media Center, the ISIS media arm that recently produced a new issue of Dabiq magazine. ISIS hinted at more on the Paris attacks in last week’s issue with a page featuring the faces of the terrorists over a backdrop of the French capital and the words “Just Terror.”

“Let Paris be a lesson for those nations that wish to take heed,” the page noted.

The highly stylized video begins with news footage and the voices of CNN and Fox News anchors narrating the Paris attacks as they unfolded on Nov. 13. Red crosshairs are superimposed on victims and police in the news footage.

Brahim Abdeslam, aka Abul Qa’Qa al-Baljiki, a French ISIS member who was living in Belgium and was one of the shooters at bars and restaurants the night of the attack, is shown firing a gun at targets painted on a wall.

Belgian restaurant attacker Chakib Akrouh, aka Abu Mujaed al-Baljiki, is shown viciously beheading a man in a desert setting, as are Frenchmen and Bataclan gunmen Foued Mohamed-Aggad (aka Abu Fu’ad al-Faransi) and Ismaël Omar Mostefai (aka Abu Rayyn al-Faransi).

Belgian restaurant gunman Abdelhamid Abaaoud, aka Abu Umar al-Baljaki, speaks in what looks like a home video shot with an ISIS flag and two guns for a backdrop. Samy Amimour, aka Abu Qital al-Faransi, the third Bataclan gunman, gives a wicked smile for the camera.

Ali al-Iraqi prepares to shoot an orange-jumpsuit-clad man in the back of the head. Ukashah al-Iraqi does the same. The Iraqis may have been the unidentified men on suspected stolen Syrian passports who blew themselves up outside the Stade de France.

Frenchman Bilal Hadfi smiles and makes the index-finger gesture of the Islamic State. He was the third Stade de France bomber.

An audio recording of Abaaoud, with a bathroom-type echo not indicative of ISIS studio equipment, warns “disbelievers who are fighting the Muslims” in French. “You are the ones who came to us. You are the ones who dared to come… you have declared a war that you have lost before even starting it.”

“Do you think that you can dare to come and fight the Muslims and then expect to live in safety in your land?” Abaaoud continues. “By Allah, we will make you taste terror, and you will taste it in your very stronghold… We are already in your lands. We will slaughter you inside your homes.”

As he speaks, crosshairs are shown on the head of French President Francois Hollande with the word “taghut [rebel to Islam].”

Abaaoud blamed civilians for voting for rulers that wage war on Muslims, and said for this they would all be considered targets. “Regardless of whether you are on a tourism trip or a work trip or are fast asleep in your homes. So expect more. Expect a mujahid to show up to kill you,” he said. “…You will not be able to stop it. By Allah, this is just the beginning… there is nothing between us and you but the edge of the sword.”

He added that they’ll also be “the ones who liberate Palestine.”

Amimour says he was sent on the Paris mission by ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to “cleanse the earth of disbelievers, whoever they may be and wherever they may be.” A man labeled “murtad [apostate]” is kneeling in front of Amimour as he speaks.

“We have come to you with slaughter, and indeed our knives come closer to your throats day after day,” the terrorist says in French. “…I send a message now to those remaining in France who claim to be Muslims. By Allah, I ask myself what you are doing there. We are being killed every day and you are there sitting idly, living among them, sleeping among them, eating with them, with these disbelievers, while it is within your ability to display some honor and spit in their faces.”

“If you can’t find a weapon — smash their heads with a rock, or run over them with your car and terrorize them.”

Mohamed-Aggad, also speaking in French with a desert backdrop with the same prisoner at his feet, warns people all around the world that “we have received an order” from al-Baghdadi “to kill you wherever you are.” To Muslims, he says, “What is the matter with you that you cling to the earth when you are called to march forth?”

Mohamed-Aggad then beheads the unidentified man in the orange jumpsuit. Amimour takes the head, holds it up to the camera, grins, and says, “Soon in Champs-Elysees.”

Hadfi then appears in the video wielding a knife with another prisoner at his feet. “We have come to you with slaughter,” he says before shoving the man in the orange jumpsuit to the ground and beheading him. “This is what awaits you, disbelievers,” he says while holding up the head.

The two Iraqis then take their turn at murder, with Ali al-Iraqi vowing to “enter Rome as conquerors, announcing the call to prayer therein, performing the prayer, and breaking your crosses.” They each shoot a prisoner in the back of head, labeled as “the fate of kufir [disbelievers].”

Mostefai, a blue-eyed Frenchman from tranquil Chartres with dark blonde hair, says before he beheads a man, “Do you think that you will live in tranquility? Never, for you have signed your own destruction… You will never sleep. Do you see this apostate? Imagine yourselves in his place. By Allah, you will taste exactly what he tastes, with this knife on your throats.” He also tries to guilt-trip western Muslims into joining jihad, insisting they’re not following their religion if they don’t.

The video ends with a shot of British Prime Minister David Cameron and the words, “Whoever stands in the ranks of kufr will be a target for our swords and will fall in humiliation.”

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In Sinai, ISIS Grows with Iran’s Help

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The Tower, by Arik Agassi, January 2016:

Most people assume that the Sunni terrorist group ISIS is the natural and mortal enemy of Shia Iran, but this is not always the case. In fact, in at least one part of the Middle East, Iran has become a crucial, if indirect, sponsor of its supposed enemy.

As the world’s eyes are focused on ISIS terrorism in Europe, the Middle East, and even the U.S., the group’s branch in the Sinai has become one of the most powerful, dangerous, and effective in the region. Recent reports indicate that Iran, through the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, is primarily responsible for this.

The Iran-Hamas-ISIS axis is part of Iran’s strategy of using proxy forces against U.S. allies like Egypt and Israel as part of a larger strategy to achieve hegemony over the Middle East. This has resulted in one of the region’s best kept secrets: An intensive cooperation mechanism between Iran, Hamas, and ISIS, based on money, weapons, military equipment, and training.

Iran’s foreign policy goal of hegemony over the Middle East is based on its primary ideological pillar – exporting the Islamic Revolution to other countries using terrorism and political subversion. In pursuing its ambitions, Iran has often put aside its religious differences with radical Sunni groups like ISIS and Hamas. The Islamic Republic is more than willing to cooperate with these groups as long as doing so helps promote its larger interests.

“By directly supporting Hamas in Gaza and indirectly supporting ISIS in the Sinai, Iran is able to gain foothold against Israel and Egypt to destabilize them, undermine America’s regional influence, create another Iranian power base in a Sunni-dominated region, and project its power and influence in its pursuit of regional hegemony,” Major (res.) Dan Feferman, a former senior IDF intelligence officer and Iran specialist, told the Tower. When asked why Iran would indirectly fund a serious rival such as ISIS, Feferman said that Lebanon, Iraq, and especially Syria are more important to Iran than the Sinai, as Iran wants to preserve its influence in states affected by the Syrian civil war – so Iran fights ISIS in those counties. In places where Iran does not have a strong influence, such as Egypt, it feels comfortable supporting ISIS, albeit indirectly.

“Just like Iran needs ISIS in Syria and Iraq to maintain its relevance among world powers such as Russia and the United States, it has no problem with ISIS gaining strength in Sinai for the time being,” added Brigadier General (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and former head of Israeli intelligence’s Research and Assessment Division added. “If ISIS gains more power in the Sinai and Iran is able to help demean that power in the future, it will once again position itself as an address to world powers and thus demand something in return. Moreover, as long as Iran is able to weaken the moderate Sunni Arab state alliance of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan by indirectly supporting ISIS Sinai through Hamas, it won’t stop doing so.”

But Iran’s support of ISIS via Hamas goes deeper than mere strategic considerations. Despite the deep ideological rifts between Iran, Hamas, and ISIS in Sinai, as well as the traditional animosity between Shias, Sunnis, and Salafists, all three groups see each other as temporary partners in

1. The destruction of the state of Israel.
2. Undermining the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ authority.
3. Opposing and destabilizing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s Western-oriented regime, especially in regard to its peace treaty with Israel.
4. Harming U.S. interests in the region and undermining its presence in the Middle East as a whole.
5. Bridging the Sunni-Shia divide and reconstituting a Muslim caliphate.

For Iran, Hamas and ISIS serve different aspects of these ambitions. Iran uses Hamas to deepen the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians by supporting Palestinian terror and a rejectionist approach to the peace process. It uses ISIS in the Sinai against al-Sisi and to further its vision of a caliphate dominated by Iran.

Iran could not support ISIS in Sinai or pursue its ambitions against Israel and Egypt without Hamas. The relationship between the terrorist organization and Iran is deep and of long standing. Indeed, Iran has provided funding, weapons, training, technology, and political support to Hamas for decades.

This relationship began almost simultaneously with the founding of Hamas, and has intensified every time the peace process appeared to be gaining momentum. In October 1991, Iran convened a conference in Tehran whose purpose was to unite various radical organizations led by Hamas who were hostile to the PLO’s negotiations with Israel at the Madrid peace summit. The groups gathered in Tehran called for the destruction of Israel and pledged to make every possible effort to sabotage the newborn peace process, which was seen as a direct threat to their strategic goals.

Iran-Hamas relations were officially formalized in October 1992, when a Hamas delegation led by then-Secretary General Mousa Abu-Marzuq visited Tehran for talks. Iran permitted Hamas to open an office in Tehran, provided it with millions of dollars in cash, and agreed to have the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps train thousands of Hamas members in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon.

This initially lukewarm relationship became a full-blown alliance when the second intifada began in 2000. Iran began funding, recruiting, directing, training, and supporting Palestinian terrorists and building the infrastructure to support them. This included carrying out suicide bombings, paying the families of terrorists, and providing monthly salaries to terrorists in Israeli jails.

Hamas soldiers take part in a military parade marking the first anniversary of the killing of Hamas’s military commanders Mohammed Abu Shammala and Raed al-Attar, in Rafah, Gaza Strip, August 21, 2015. Abu Shammala and al-Attar were killed by an Israeli air strike during a 50-day war between the terror group and Israel the previous summer. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90

Hamas soldiers take part in a military parade marking the first anniversary of the killing of Hamas’s military commanders Mohammed Abu Shammala and Raed al-Attar, in Rafah, Gaza Strip, August 21, 2015. Abu Shammala and al-Attar were killed by an Israeli air strike during a 50-day war between the terror group and Israel the previous summer. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90

The Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip in August 2005 created a new reality. Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006, which resulted in a significant increase in Iranian funding. Immediately following the elections, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal visited Iran and secured an estimated $20 million per month from the Islamic Republic – enough to cover Hamas’ entire budget. This was followed by a visit from Hamas’ former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, in which Iran pledged $250 million in aid. The funds were earmarked to pay the wages of civil servants, bankroll Hamas security forces, and compensate Palestinian families that lost their homes during Israeli military operations.

In June 2007, Hamas carried out a putsch in the Gaza Strip, neutralized Fatah and the Palestinian Authority’s military and political power, and set up a radical Islamic government. Following the takeover, Iran became a patron of the new Gaza regime, providing Hamas with military, financial, political, and media support. Iran saw the establishment of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip as a way to wage an armed campaign against Israel and advance its influence in the Palestinian arena. The exposure of the Israeli home front to rocket fire during three rounds of armed confrontation between Israel and Hamas showed the Iranians the great benefits they could reap by constructing a military infrastructure for Hamas.

As a result, Iranian money, equipment, and military expertise keep flowing to Hamas and then to ISIS.

Despite some rifts between Iran and Hamas’ political wing since 2012 (stemming from Hamas moving its headquarters from Syria and refusing to follow the Iranian line by supporting President Bashar al-Assad), the Times of Israel reported in September that, boosted by the nuclear deal, Iran has increased its funding to Hamas’ military wing with literally “suitcases of cash” sent directly to leaders in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Telegraph quoted top senior Western intelligence officials in April saying that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have transferred tens of millions of dollars to Hamas.

Read more

Listen to Kyle Shideler, Director of the Center for Security Policy’s Threat Information Office, discuss the relationship between ISIS and Hamas in this Secure Freedom Podcast:

Podcast (podcast2): Play in new window | Download

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The CIA’s Syria Program and the Perils of Proxies

Fadi Al-Halabi/AFP/Getty Images

Fadi Al-Halabi/AFP/Getty Images

Daily Beast, by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Nathaniel Barr, Jan. 19, 2016:

After fighting al Qaeda and its affiliates for a decade and a half, the CIA is now helping them gain ground in Syria.
Almost every aspect of the Obama administration’s policy toward Syria has been scrutinized, lambasted or praised in recent months, but one of the most significant facets, the CIA’s covert aid program to Syrian rebels, has largely slipped below the radar.

It is time that we start paying attention, since this initiative is benefiting the very jihadist groups the U.S. has been fighting for the past 15 years.

America’s abrupt about-face is a mistake, but even those who would defend this new course as the least bad option should favor a more robust public debate.

The CIA’s program, launched in 2013, initially was conceived as a way of strengthening moderate rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime without significantly increasing the U.S. footprint in the conflict.

The program got off to a slow start, with rebel commanders grumbling that the CIA was stingy due to its concern that weapons would fall into extremists’ hands. As a result, moderate rebels were forced at times to ration ammunition. At least one rebel group severed its ties with the CIA and joined an Islamist-led coalition, while other CIA-backed rebels stopped fighting.

After these early hiccups, the program evolved.

Anonymous U.S. officials now tell the media that CIA-backed rebels have begun to experience unprecedented successes, particularly in northwestern Syria. Yet these gains reveal a darker side to the CIA-backed groups’ victories, and even American officials’ framing of these advances provides reason for concern. As the Associated Press reported in October, officials have explained that the CIA-backed groups were capturing new territory by “fighting alongside more extremist factions.”

Who are these extremist co-belligerents? Analysis of the geography of “moderate” rebels’ gains during this period and reports from the battlefield demonstrate that CIA-backed groups collaborated with Jaysh al-Fateh, an Islamist coalition in which Jabhat al-Nusra—al Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate—is a leading player.

Hassan Hassan, co-author (with The Daily Beast’s Michael Weiss) of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, suggested that rebel gains in Idlib in April 2015 showcased the symmetries between CIA-backed forces and Nusra when he attributed the rebels’ successes to suicide bombers (frequently deployed by Nusra and other jihadists) and “American anti-tank TOW missiles.” In southern Syria, the CIA-backed Southern Front fought alongside Nusra in the campaign to take the city of Deraa in June 2015.

CIA-backed groups in northwestern Syria publicly acknowledge their relationship with the al Qaeda affiliate. A commander of Fursan ul-Haq, a rebel group that received TOW missiles through CIA channels, explained that “there is something misunderstood by world powers: We have to work with Nusra Front and other groups to fight” both Assad’s regime and the Islamic State.

Similarly, a spokesman for CIA-backed Suqour al-Ghab justified his group’s collaboration with Nusra by noting that “we work with all factions when there are attacks on the regime, either through direct cooperation or just coordinating the movements of troops so we don’t fire at each other.”

The fact that CIA-backed groups collaborate with Nusra does not necessarily prove that they harbor jihadist sympathies, nor that they hoodwinked the American officials who vetted them. In many or perhaps most cases, these groups’ decision to cooperate with Nusra is born out of pragmatism.

When fighting a regime as brutal as Assad’s, it is natural to look for allies wherever they may be found. Further, as one of the dominant players in northern Syria, Nusra can dictate terms to smaller rebel factions. The experiences of Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front, two CIA-backed groups that Nusra literally obliterated in late 2014, are a stark warning.

Jamaal Maarouf, the commander of the Syrian Revolutionary Front, explainedafter his group was ousted from Syria that no militia in the rebel umbrella organization known as the Free Syrian Army can operate in northern Syria “without Nusra’s approval.”

Because of Nusra’s strength, CIA-backed factions have entered what has beencalled a “marriage of necessity” with the jihadist group, which is exploiting its position to gain access to American weapons.

After rebels seized a Syrian military base in Idlib province in December 2014, CIA-backed groups admitted that they had been forced to use U.S.-provided TOW missiles to support the Nusra-led offensive. One rebel explained that Nusra had allowed CIA-backed groups to retain physical control of the missiles so as to maintain the veneer of autonomy, thus allowing them to sustain their relationship with the CIA. In short, Nusra has at times gamed the system.

But such subterfuge notwithstanding, at this point it is impossible to argue that U.S. officials involved in the CIA’s program cannot discern that Nusra and other extremists have benefited. And despite this, the CIA decided to drastically increase lethal support to vetted rebel factions following the Russian intervention into Syria in late September.

Rebels who previously complained about the CIA’s tight-fistedness suddenly found the floodgates open, particularly with respect to TOW missiles. One rebel explained: “We can get as much as we need and whenever we need them. Just fill in the numbers.” Reports suggest that the Obama administration and Sunni states backing the opposition have also discussed, though not committed to, providing shoulder-fired anti-aircraft weapons to vetted groups.

With the CIA doubling down on its support for Syrian rebels, it is now more important than ever to have a candid and vigorous public debate about the agency’s program. Put simply, such an about-face in U.S. policy—backing groups that help al Qaeda to make advances, after spending a decade and a half fighting the jihadist group—should not occur without a public debate that helps Americans understand why such drastic changes in U.S. policy have occurred.

Several prominent figures have defended this program. For instance, Robert Ford, the former U.S. ambassador to Syria, argued that by maintaining the supply of lethal support to moderate rebels, the CIA may ultimately be able to build up these factions as a viable alternative to Nusra, the Islamic State and Assad.

But the program’s costs outweigh its possible benefits. Though aiding al Qaeda’s advances is not the program’s intention, it is the effect. Thus, after fighting al Qaeda and its affiliates for a decade and a half, the CIA is now helping them gain ground in Syria.

At the moment, al Qaeda is trying to rebrand itself by contrasting its approach to that of the far more brutal Islamic State—and, unfortunately, it has experienced some success due to its jihadist competitor’s excesses and the escalating conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaeda has portrayed itself to Sunni states and the Muslim public as a bulwark against both the Islamic State’s growth and Iranian encroachment. If U.S.-backed rebels are cooperating with al Qaeda, the United States will be hard-pressed to stop al Qaeda from gaining more room to operate in the region.

It is unlikely that the United States, with no meaningful presence in Syria, understands the situation on the ground better than al Qaeda, and can strategically outmaneuver the jihadist group. The danger is too great that continuation of this policy will empower Nusra further, eventually forcing policymakers to confront a greatly emboldened al Qaeda force in Syria.

This is why, at the very least, we should have a robust public discussion about whether to continue this course in Syria—a debate that the U.S. Congress is well positioned to kickstart through public hearings on the CIA’s program. Allowing this program to continue without carefully thinking through the benefits, costs, and possible unintended consequences is incredibly risky, and could erode public trust and support.

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Islamic State launches suicide assault in Indonesia’s capital

Oscar Siagian/Getty

Oscar Siagian/Getty

Long War Journal, by Bill Roggio, January 14, 2016

The Islamic State claimed credit for a suicide assault in the capital of Jakarta that killed two people. Indonesian officials said the Islamic State fighters are fighters linked to a cell that is based in Syria.

Islamic State split up into at least two teams and opened fire at Starbucks and a department store in downtown Jakarta, according to Reuters. Police exchanged gunfire with the jihadists for three hours before the attack was defeated. Some of the gunmen were killed and some blew themselves up, while two of them were captured. The Islamic State fighters detonated several bombs during the fighting.

Civilian casualties were surprisingly low given that both attacks took place in crowded locations. One Canadian and one Indonesian citizen were killed during the fighting.

The Islamic State immediately claimed credit for the attack in an official communique that was disseminated by the groups supporters on social media websites.

“A security detachment from the soldiers of the Caliphate target a gathering of the charges of the Crusader alliance in Jakarta city,” according to the statement which was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

The Islamic State claimed that fighters armed with “light weaponry and explosive belts” attacked after “several timed canisters” or explosives were detonated. According to the Islamic State, “nearly 15 Crusader foreigners” and their local guards were killed. The Islamic State routinely exaggerates the effects of their attacks.

Indonesian officials immediately linked the attack to the Islamic State’s headquarters in Syria. Jakarta’s police chief said that an Indonesian known as Bahrun Naim, who is based in Raqqa, Syria, plotted the Jakarta assault, Reuters reported.

Today’s attack in Jakarta is the latest claimed by the Islamic State outside of Iraq and Syria. Most recently, in November of last year, the Islamic State executed a complex suicide assault in Paris, France, that killed more than 120 people.

The Islamic State in Indonesia

Jihadists in Indonesia who previously have been loyal to al Qaeda have been divided since the Islamic State was formed in June 2014.  A number of jihadists previously loyal to Jemaah Islamiyah, al Qaeda’s branch in Indonesia, split from the group in August 2014 shortly after Abu Bakr al Baghdadi declared the Islamic State and named himself as “caliph”.  Jemaah Islamiyah is responsible for numerous deadly terrorist attacks in Indonesia over the past two decades, including the deadly bombing in Bali.

Shortly after Baghdadi’s announcement, Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader and cofounder of Jemaah Islamiyah as well as the emir of Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid, pledged allegiance to Baghdadi. Bashir, a veteran jihadist, made his pledge to Baghdadi while in prison. In 2011, he was convicted of “committing a criminal act of terrorism” by founding and supporting a terrorist group known as al Qaeda in Aceh and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to nine years.

Following Bashir’s oath of loyalty to Baghdadi, Bashir’s sons, Abdul Iim Rohim and Rosyid Ridho, and a number of senior jihadists broke away from the veteran jihadist and spiritual leader and formed their own group, known as Jemaah Ansharusy Syariah. According to the Jakarta Post, more than 50 percent of Bashir’s followers abandoned him and joined Jemaah Ansharusy Syariah.

Mochammad Achwan, the emir of Jemaah Ansharusy Syariah, admitted to the Jakarta Post at the time of the split that his group is part of al Qaeda’s global network and receives orders and advice from leaders overseas.

“Our sharia councils in Yemen and Syria have denounced ISIL [Islamic State] because the group has deviated from the right course in forming a caliphate,” Achwan said. “We received our direction from our respected clerics in JN [Jabhat al Nusrah, or the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria], and we have supported the group in many ways.”

In addition to Bashir’s Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid, another group, known as the Mujahidin Indonesian Timur, has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State. Both groups are listed by the US as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Abu Warda Santoso, the leader of the Mujahidin Indonesian Timur, has also sworn allegiance to Baghdadi.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of The Long War Journal.

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Keane: Saudis Don’t Believe Obama Admin Would Defend Them in Conflict with Iran

Washington Free Beacon, by Aaron Kliegman, Jan. 5, 2015:

Gen. Jack Keane said on Tuesday that Saudi officials have told him they believe the United States under the Obama administration would not defend Saudi Arabia if it came into conflict with Iran and are waiting for a new American president to take office.

Keane, who is a former Vice Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army, told Fox News host Bill Hemmer that the Iran nuclear deal and American disengagement from the Middle East, among other factors, have all contributed to the perception in Riyadh that Washington is trying to create a new strategic partnership with Iran at the expense of Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies in the region.

“I can tell you for a fact because I’ve spoken to Saudi officials, they believe that the United States during this [Obama] administration … would not defend them if they got into a conflict,” Keane said. “And that’s a fact. They are waiting for this administration to go.”

Keane made this statement while analyzing the ongoing Saudi-Iranian feud that has reached new heights after Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday, which was extended the next day to include all flights and trade.

These moves were triggered when Iranian protestors attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran on Saturday, which was in response to the Saudi government executing a prominent Shiite cleric who had been calling for a new regime in Riyadh. Events of the past few days escalated the ongoing competition between the two Middle Eastern powers for geopolitical influence, a rivalry fueled in part by strong ethnic and religious differences.

sunni-shiaIran is a mostly Persian, Shiite country while Saudi Arabia is Arab and sees itself as the vanguard of Sunni Islam.

But the dispute goes beyond these factors, according to Keane. He argued on Fox News that seeing the Saudi-Iranian spat as simply a Sunni versus Shia conflict is a “superficial understanding of what’s taking place.”

“This is Iran seeking regional domination,” Keane continued. “They have control and influence over four countries already – that’s Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. And they are seeking to undermine the Sunni Arab countries in the region.”

Keane believes the “accelerant” for this increasingly tense strategic environment has been the nuclear deal struck this summer between the United States, along with five other world powers, and Iran.

“That has been done at the expense of our Arab allies in the region.”

Keane added that the Obama administration’s “overall policy of disengagement from the region” has led to the Saudis’ alienation with the United States, “which began politically with Iraq in 2009, militarily in 2011, and one thing after another. Not dealing with the Syrian issue early on in 2012, when his national security team had recommended arming and training the Syrian rebels, not responding to the chemical [red] line that was crossed over by [Syrian president] Assad’s regime.”

Analysts have also cited the lack of U.S. action in supporting former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak when he was ousted from power in 2011 as an important turning point in the downturn in relations between Riyadh and Washington. Mubarak was close to the Saudi government, and Saudi leaders were furious with the Obama administration over its handling of the Arab Spring in Egypt. Mubarak was also a strategic ally of the United States.

Beyond American policy, Keane told Hemmer that the other important cause of growing Saudi aggression to counter Iranian expansion is the new leadership in Riyadh.

The general described how Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who came to power in January of 2015, and his son and deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, who is also Minister of Defense and rose to prominence after his father took the throne, have both taken a more aggressive posture toward Iran.

“That is why military action has taken place in Yemen against the Iranians. They were willing to push back very aggressively to do that.”

Keane added that Saudi Arabia’s recent decision to form a 34-nation coalition to fight terrorism is also the result of the Saudi leaders’ outlook on the region.

Iran / Saudi Feud Begins to Boil

iran 1Iran Truth, Jan. 4, 2015:

Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic ties to Iran, saying Iran must act like “a normal country” instead of “a revolution.”  The remarks came after an Iranian mob, allegedly made up of protesters, attacked the Saudi embassy.  The attack was in reprisal forSaudi Arabia’s execution of a Shi’ite clericSheikh Nimr al-Nimr, as part of a wave of executions allegedly aimed at crippling terror organizations within the Kingdom.  The Sheikh had accused the Saudi government of mistreating Shi’ites, and called for the secession of the eastern part of the country.  Others among the 47 executed included alleged al Qaeda leaders.  Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, Saudi Arabia’s top religious leader, said that the executions were “a mercy to the prisoners” because it would keep them from further damaging their souls via evil acts.

Although Iran says that a top police official went to the mob attacking the Saudi embassy to disperse it, the suspicion that the mob was a proxy by Iran’s government is highly credible.  Iran still celebrates as a national holiday the Iranian Revolution’s mob overrunning of the American Embassy in 1979, when the hostages seized and held for more than a year were used by the new Islamic Republic of Iran in an attempt to extort the United States.  In that environment, even without official organization the citizens of Iran know that mob attacks on the diplomatic enemies of their government will be welcomed and praised as authentic examples of the spirit of the revolution.  Saudi Arabia’s comments about Iran needing to act like a normal nation instead of a revolution are meant in that context.

The feud between the two nations has both ancient roots and contemporary flash points.  Saudi Arabia sees itself as the leader of the Islamic world as a whole, because it contains the holy city of Mecca and most of the important scenes of the life of Muhammad, the founder of the Islamic religion.  However, it sides with the Sunni view of the proper leadership of Islam, a civil war between factions of the Islamic world that began hundreds of years ago shortly after Mohammed’s death.  Sunnis followed a claim that the leadership of the Islamic world should fall to those with the greatest degree of education and investment in the religious ideology.  Shi’a Islam believed that only blood descendants of Muhammad ought to lead Islam.  This led to a series of murders and bloodshed among the generation immediately after Muhammad, capped by the Battle of Karbala in the 61st year of the Islamic calendar, or A.D. 680.  The Shi’ite faction lost and their leader, Hassan ibn Ali, was killed.  The Shi’ite holy festivals of Ashura and Arba’een commemorate this defeat, and are still today marked by huge pilgrimages with self-flagellation and self-cutting by the pilgrims.

In terms of the current flash points, Iran and Saudi Arabia are backing opposite sides in a regional conflict dominated by the wars in Syria and Yemen.  Iran has beendeveloping a series of Shi’a militias ideologically loyal to its particular vision of that faith as a means of exerting its influence to dominate a crescent of the Middle east from Yemen and Afghanistan to the Levant.  The Saudi government officially bans support to terrorist groups, but has been allowing its citizens to route money through Kuwait to radical Sunni groups including al Nura Front and the Islamic State (ISIS).  Saudi Arabia is also leading a coalition of regional nations against Iran’s proxies in Yemen, the Houthis, a band of Shi’ite tribes bent on replacing the admittedly corrupt and inefficient government there.

Saudi Arabia has diplomatic allies who are backing its play.  Bahrain, which happens also to be the headquarters of the United States Fifth Fleet, has joined Saudi Arabia in suspending diplomatic relations with Iran.  The UAE has downgraded its relationship.  Sudan has also cut off Iran.

Although Iran is framing its immediate conflict with Saudi Arabia as over what it describes as politically-motivated executions, Iran has executed three times as many persons as Saudi Arabia in recent years.  Many of these, possibly thousands of them, are of political dissidents opposed to the existing regime.  By contrast, Saudi Arabia executed fewer than fifty in the end-of-year purge.

Outside of the realms of diplomacy and war, the conflict also has ramifications for the global price of oil.  However, rising oil prices may be offset by the entry of Iran’s oil reserves into the global markets pending the full implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.

***

Also see:

Former Syrian “Moderate” Commander Killed

The ISIS Study Group, Dec. 26, 2015:

A former “moderate” anti-Assad commander known as Zahran Alloush was killed in an airstrike launched in the Damascus-area. The New York Times is calling it a “significant blow” against the opposition and the cease-fire negotiations with the Assad regime. The truth is Alloush is hardly the “moderate” the likes of Senators McCain and Graham try to make him out to be.

Powerful Syrian Rebel Leader Reported Killed in Airstrike
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/26/world/middleeast/zahran-alloush-syria-rebel-leader-reported-killed.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1

Plan to evacuate jihadists from south Damascus on hold
http://news.yahoo.com/syria-rebel-chief-zahran-alloush-killed-monitor-opposition-163954620.html

Alloush Source: Amer Almohibany/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Alloush
Source: Amer Almohibany/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

We’ve written about Alloush and his former role in Harakat Hazm (HH-which disbanded earlier in the year)/Islamic Front before (“US-Backed Syrian Group Disbands – But Were They Ever Truly ‘Moderate’ to Begin With?”). Although there were some serious tensions between HH and the al-Nsura Front (ANF), towards the end the two groups were actually working together agains the Assad regime and the Islamic State (IS). At the end of his life, Alloush was a leader in Jaysh al-Islam, which is also affiliated with the Islamic Front. Make no mistake, at no time was Alloush ever a “moderate.” He may have paid lip service to the international community’s collective drumbeat, but his actions were saying something very different. From the LA Times:

Outside Syria, members of the political opposition who have helped facilitate the weapons transfers to the fighters play up the groups’ moderation and secular agenda in hope of securing more advanced armaments. But inside Syria, such characterizations have become a burden that fighters try to shrug off.

Harakat Hazm, for example, has struggled with being regarded as a U.S. pawn and labeled as secular in the midst of an opposition movement that has grown increasingly Islamist.

“Inside Syria we became labeled as secularists and feared Nusra Front was going to battle us,” Zeidan said, referring to an Al Qaeda-linked rebel group that has been designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization. Then he smiled and added, “But Nusra doesn’t fight us, we actually fight alongside them. We like Nusra.”

In July, eight West-backed rebel brigades — all recipients of military aid — released a statement of “rejection of all forms of cooperation and coordination” with Al Nusra Front. Harakat Hazm was one of the signatories, even as it fought on the same front lines with the group in Aleppo, battling both Islamic State militants in the north and government forces seeking to retake the city.

Syria rebels, once hopeful of U.S. weapons, lament lack of firepower
http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-harakat-hazm-20140907-story.html#page=1

Alloush’s guys served as the public face for the Muslim Brotherhood – which is the Grandfather of the modern Sunni terrorist btw. The idea at the time was for Alloush’s group to give the jihadist movement a “secular” appearance that would be more palatable to the West. Aside from the US, HH also received substantial assistance from Turkey and Qatar – who were likely the ones American weaponry were being funneled through. The level of support they enjoyed from the US was largely due to the efforts of Senators McCain and Graham – who were heavily influenced by the likes of phony analyst Elizabeth O’Bagy. A major red flag that should’ve alarmed the people in the Beltway was the the fact that HH’s formation predates the Islamic Front and involves the establishment of the Harakat Zaman Muhammad (of which it was a part of) under the Quranic verse “And fight against disbelievers collectively. [9:36]” The effort involved the recreation of the al-Farouq Brigades (you know, the guys who force non-Muslims to pay the “jizya” or “tax” in the territories they seize) in a new form under new leadership for the purpose of uniting all Islamist groups in Syria at a later stage. Sadly, the US government was more concerned about scoring political points then actually vetting the people we were considering a “partnership” with in the Syria War. The fact that these organizations as a whole are Salafists/Islamists should’ve been another reason not to support them.

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Indeed, there is no real difference between Alloush’s crew and AQ’s ideology – of course the MB links should’ve been a big clue on where they stand. Check out the following video:

The video above was Alloush’s speech to the Umma on the challenge of the “Raafida,” which was pretty much a big anti-Shia tirade. He even used the great Umayyad desert palace of Caliph Hisham Ibn And al-Malik as the bakdrop of the video. As one would guess, Alloush talks about brining back the “Umayyad Empire” and really speaks to how sectarian he is to the core. Alloush calls for the reducing of the Nusayris (a reference made about Alawites) as “Majors” or “crypto-Iranians.” Now “Majors” is the old term for pre-Islamic Persians or Zoroastrians. Arab Christians use th term in Christmas carols about the Magi, or “three kings from the orient” who come to pay homage to Jesus – Magi are Persians or “Easterners.” In this video, Alloush uses the term as an Islamic term meant to suggest that Alawites and Iranians not only have the wrong religion, but also the wrong ethnicity – they are not “Arabs” in his eyes. The Islamic Front as a whole likes to use such terminology.

Not surprisingly, Alloush has been a major advocate for “cleansing” Damascus of all Shia/Nusayris. Of course this makes Vlad and the Assad regime’s IO campaign against the anti-Assad factions extremely easy. With such rhetoric regularly coming from so-called “moderates,” it also makes the case for a military solution even easier. The O’Bagys of the intelligence community will argue that there’s a “clear line” between HH/Islamic Front and AQ affiliates such as ANF. Unfortunately, the ugly truth of the matter is that both sides’ ideology is largely based on a similar reading of Islamic history and the Quran. Both idealize the reestablishment of an “Islamic Empire,” both reject democracy and embrace Sharia Law. Their views also overlaps in several areas with that of IS, although the later is run by an Iraq – which in itself is another signifiant fact worth keeping in mind here.

The negotiations that Alloush had been involved in were designed by the Assad regime and Russia to cause further divisions between the anti-Assad factions. There was a similar deal made in support of the Aleppo campaign (see-“Obama Administration Tries to Rewrite History and Salvage Their ‘Legacy’”). A major part of this is focusing the Russian airstrikes (like the one that killed Alloush) on the so-called “moderates” as a means of pressuring them into reaching a settlement with the government on Assad’s terms – then Russia will move their gun sights on IS. By targeting Alloush, the pro-regime forces removed a prominent member of the so-called “moderates,” furthering weakening them. This is actually a sound strategy as it would take a significant – although weakening – jihadist faction out of the equation while countering the shrinking American influence in the region. Vlad has truly outmaneuvered the Obama administration on every level. However, we suspect that the Obama administration may actually feel a great sense of relief now that a major foreign policy embarrassment like Alloush is now dead. They’re probably hoping that the media and everybody else will forget what he was all about. We understand that most Westerners want to place everybody in a “good guy” or “bad guy” category but in this fight the only true good guys on the ground in Syria or Iraq are the Kurds. Period.

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Also see:

U.S. Continues to Limit Airstrikes Against ISIS Camps

ISIS training camp / Screenshot from YouTube

ISIS training camp / Screenshot from YouTube

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, Dec. 17, 2015:

President Obama said for the first time this week that U.S. and allied airstrikes are targeting ISIS training camps in Iraq and Syria, but new figures reveal only 20 camps were hit in recent months.

Since May, U.S. and allied air forces conducted 17 attacks hitting a total of 20 camps in Syria and Iraq, according to the U.S. military command in Iraq.

Critics in the Obama administration and U.S. military say ISIS has been operating more than 60 training camps since 2014 in areas of Syria and Iraq. The camps are said to be producing an estimated 1,000 fighters a month.

The officials voiced frustrations that ISIS training camps are not being vigorously struck.

“These camps give them a continuous, fresh flow fighters,” said one official, “and little is being done to destroy them.”

According to the officials, the U.S. military has been constrained from attacking the camps because many are located in or near residential areas and population centers and the White House fears strikes will produce civilian casualties.

Additionally, the flow of trained fighters from the camps is assisting ISIS efforts to expand its operations into placed such as Libya and Yemen.

France’s Le Figoro newspaper reported Dec. 12 that ISIS has set up two major training camps in the Libyan desert near Houn, about 135 miles south of the coastal city of Sirte.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reported to be in Sirte Dec. 3, according to Libyan press reports.

Long War Journal reported in June that the number of terrorist training camps in Syria and Iraq continues to increase, for both ISIS and al Qaeda. The journal reported that more than 100 training camps have been identified in the two Middle East states.

“The proliferation of training camps in Iraq and Syria speaks to the strength of the Islamic State and its ability to continue to gather and instruct recruits despite the U.S. and allies’ air campaign,” said Bill Roggio, editor of the Long War Journal.

“It is unclear if U.S. airstrikes have significantly set back the Islamic State’s training program,” he told the Washington Free Beacon. “We may not be hitting the training facilities quick enough to make a difference.”

Obama, under pressure from critics at home and abroad over the limited military strategy against ISIS, on Monday vowed that the U.S. strategy is “moving forward with a great sense of urgency” following ISIS-linked attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.

“Every day, we destroy as well more of ISIL’s forces—their fighting positions, bunkers, and staging areas; their heavy weapons, bomb-making factories, compounds and training camps,” Obama said at the Pentagon on Monday following a National Security Council meeting.

French military forces have conducted airstrikes in recent weeks against ISIS training camps in Syria where French ISIS fighters were believed to be training.

The public affairs office at the Combined Joint Task Force—Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement to the Free Beacon that the 17 strikes included five airstrikes in Iraq and nine in Syria.

“In some of these strikes, the training area was not the primary target, so it may not have been specified in our strike releases,” the statement said.

Between May 20 and Dec. 8, the attacks included several strikes near Raqqah, where ISIS headquarters is located, against a training camps and staging areas; attacks also were conducted against a training area and logistics site near Dayr Az Zawr; and strikes on a training camps near Kobani, Mosul, Albu Hayat, and Abu Kamal.

A military statement issued Dec. 17 said a training camp was bombed near Raqqah.

Asked about the low number of training camp attacks, Army Col. Steven Warren, a coalition spokesman, said, “We have struck training camps and will continue to do so.”

Sebastian Gorka, the Horner distinguished chair of military theory at Marine Corps University, said final victory in the current anti-ISIS campaign will not be measured by the number of body bags but that “taking out jihadi camps right now is the number one priority.”

“Victory will come when we and our allies have delegitimized the ideology of global jihadism, but at the moment ISIS is powerful and growing and must be met with decisive force,” he said.

“The rate of U.S. strikes today is infinitesimal in comparison to the First Gulf War and our pilots’ incredibly restrictive rules of engagement mean that they often return to base with ordinance still on their wing struts,” Gorka said. “As long as ISIS has ten of thousands of fighters in theater, this in inexcusable.”

Rep. Mike Turner (R., Ohio) said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing last month that key targets, including training camps, are not being bombed.

“There’s great frustration in the American public as we hear that there are attacks now happening to ISIS, and ISIL training camps that we’ve known where they are but no one’s attacking them,” Turner said Nov. 18.

“Logistic, supply lines, sales of oil, other operations of ISIS and ISIL are going without challenge,” he added. “So clearly the strategy that we’re doing is not working and is threatening our national security.”

The Pentagon recently began hitting oil facilities and transportation vehicles.

Ryan Crocker, former ambassador to Syria and Iraq, testified at the committee hearing that the U.S. and allied forces should “amp up significantly the air campaign against Islamic State.”

“Paris changed a lot of things and I think it should certainly change how we look at a target list, let’s look at it again,” Crocker said. “If there are key facilities for Islamic State that we’ve identified, we need to go nail them.”

***

It is obvious that Obama is just phoning it in and will not do anything to seriously go after ISIS despite the growing threat:

Tentacles of terror: Chilling map shows the 31,000 mercenary ‘gun for hire’ jihadis from 86 countries who left their homes to join ISIS… and a third may return to carry out Paris-style attacks (dailymail.co.uk)

2F2BA5C800000578-3350779-Convergence_More_than_31_000_foreign_fighters_have_travelled_to_-a-5_1450281123937

***

Islamic State’s 43 Global Affiliates Interactive World Map (intelcenter.com)

Following the creation of the Islamic State (IS), Emir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called for jihadi groups around the world to pledge allegiance to IS. Below are lists of jihadi groups that have pledged allegiance/support as of 15 Dec. 2015.

SUPPORT/PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO IS
• al-I’tisam of the Koran and Sunnah [Sudan] – 1 Aug. 2014 – Support
• Abu Sayyaf Group [Philippines] – 25 Jun. 2014 – Support
• Ansar al-Khilafah [Philippines] – 14 Aug. 2014 – Allegiance
• Ansar al-Tawhid in India [India] – 4 Oct. 2014 – Allegiance
• Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) [Phillippines] – 13 Aug. 2014 – Support
• Bangsmoro Justice Movement (BJM) [Phillippines] – 11 Sep. 2014 – Support
• Jemaah Islamiyah [Philippines] 27 Apr. 2015 – Allegiance
• al-Huda Battalion in Maghreb of Islam [Algeria] – 30 Jun. 2014 – Allegiance
• The Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria [Algeria] – 30 Sep. 2014 – Allegiance
• al-Ghurabaa [Algeria] – 7 Jul. 2015 – Allegiance
• Djamaat Houmat ad-Da’wa as-Salafiya (DHDS) [Algeria] 19 Sep. 2015 – Allegiance
• al-Ansar Battalion [Algeria] 4 Sep. 2015 – Allegiance
• Jundullah [Pakistan] – 17 Nov. 2014 – Support
• Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) [Pakistan/Uzbekistan] Video – 31 Jul. 2015 – Allegiance
• Tehreek-e-Khilafat [Pakistan] – 9 Jul. 2014 – Allegiance
• Leaders of the Mujahid in Khorasan (ten former TTP commanders) [Pakistan] – 10 Jan. 2015 – Allegiance
• Islamic Youth Shura Council [Libya] – 22 Jun. 2014 – Support
• Jaish al-Sahabah in the Levant [Syria] – 1 Jul. 2014 – Allegiance
• Martyrs of al-Yarmouk Brigade [Syria] – Dec. 2014 – Part of IS – Allegiance
• Faction of Katibat al-Imam Bukhari [Syria] – 29 Oct. 2014 – Allegiance
• Jamaat Ansar Bait al-Maqdis [Egypt] – 30 Jun. 2014 – Allegiance
• Jund al-Khilafah in Egypt [Egypt] – 23 Sep. 2014 – Allegiance
• Liwa Ahrar al-Sunna in Baalbek [Lebanon] – 30 Jun. 2014 – Allegiance
• Islamic State Libya (Darnah) [Libya] – 9 Nov. 2014 – Allegiance
• Lions of Libya [Libya] (Unconfirmed) – 24 Sep. 2014 – [Support/Allegiance]
• Shura Council of Shabab al-Islam Darnah [Libya] – 6 Oct. 2014 – Allegiance
• Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT) [Indonesia] – Aug. 2014 – Allegiance
• Mujahideen Indonesia Timor (MIT) [Indonesia] – 1 Jul. 2014 – Allegiance
• Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSCJ) [Egypt] – 1 Oct. 2014 – Support
• Okba Ibn Nafaa Battalion [Tunisia] – 20 Sep. 2014 – Support
• Jund al-Khilafah in Tunisia [Tunisia] – 31 Mar. 2015 – Allegiance
• Central Sector of Kabardino-Balakria of the Caucasus Emirate (CE) [Russia] – 26 Apr. 2015 – Allegiance
• Mujahideen of Tunisia of Kairouan [Tunisia] 18 May 2015 – Allegiance
• Mujahideen of Yemen [Yemen] – 10 Nov. 2014 – Allegiance
• Supporters for the Islamic State in Yemen [Yemen] – 4 Sep. 2014 – Allegiance
• al-Tawheed Brigade in Khorasan [Afghanistan] – 23 Sep. 2014 – Allegiance
• Heroes of Islam Brigade in Khorasan [Afghanistan] – 30 Sep. 2014 – Allegiance
• Supporters of the Islamic State in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques [Saudi Arabia] – 2 Dec. 2014 – Support
• Ansar al-Islam [Iraq] – 8 Jan. 2015 – Allegiance
• Boko Haram [Nigeria] – 7 Mar. 2015 – Allegiance
• The Nokhchico Wilayat of the Caucasus Emirate (CE) [Russia] – 15 Jun. 2015 – Allegiance
• al-Ansar Battalion [Algeria] – 4 Sep. 2015 – Allegiance
• al-Shabaab Jubba Region Cell Bashir Abu Numan [Somalia]- 7 Dec. 2015 – Allegiance

“Why are we letting them in?” New video ad dismantles case for refugee influx

rrCenter for Security Policy, Dec. 6, 2015:

President Obama has ordered his administration to bring in ten thousand more refugees from the Syrian civil war over the next year alone. This represents nearly a tenfold increase in the number of refugees resettled in the United States since the beginning of that war, yet all in a single year. And that’s not all. Secretary of State Kerry says that, under this administration, the United States is “committed” to increasing the number of refugees it will accept. After a closed-door meeting with the President, Kerry made clear that Obama is personally invested in the United States taking “a leadership role” in the refugee issue. The Associated Press reminds us in its report on Kerry’s remarks that the United States took more than a million refugees after the fall of Vietnam, and speculates that the Obama administration may raise the annual limit above 70,000 refugees a year. Democratic leaders are already asking the President to consider a figure of 65,000.

The plan is strongly opposed by the American people. Nearly two thirds of state governors have taken formal steps to refuse to accept more refugees from Syria. The administration rejects their concerns. President Obama and his administration have repeatedly said that they recognize no legitimate state interest in the question, and that the President alone shall have power to decide how many refugees are put in their states.

The President says that Americans opposed to his plan are “shameful” for applying a “religious test” to American hospitality. He said that the Americans opposed to the plan, a strong majority of Americans according to polls, are cowards who are afraid of “widows and orphans.” In fact, the American people are chiefly concerned that the Syrian refugees may bring with them radicals and terrorists. More than half say that they have no confidence in the Federal government’s vetting program. That concern is echoed by no less than the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey. The FBI itself knows it cannot vet ten thousand refugees, coming from a place where any records of their lives will have been destroyed.

More, the truth is that the Obama administration already has a terrible record where refugee terrorism is concerned. Two Iraqis brought by the Obama administration in 2009 turned to terrorism within two years, attempting to send sniper rifles, Stinger missiles and cash to Al Qaeda. During the investigation one of them confessed to having been an insurgent in Iraq who destroyed American military vehicles and participated in attacks on US troops.

Just this year, six Bosnian immigrants were arrested in St. Louis for sending money and military equipment to terrorists including the Islamic State and Al Qaeda. This was more than a plan. They managed to fund and equip terrorist fighters who are some of the worst enemies of the United States of America.

And, of course, the female shooter in the recent San Berinadino terrorist attack actually had been vetted by the Federal government and she was approved. The process somehow completely failed to reject her despite her ties to a very radical Pakistani mosque, but instead waved her in on a fiancée visa. This process requires certification from police agencies in all the countries in which she lived, including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Unlike Syria, those countries’ police services are intact and could plausibly produce evidence of radicalization. The American Federal vetting process itself turns out to be unreliable.

No wonder that, in a recent Congressional hearing on refugee resettlement, administration officials were silent on the question of how we could be sure that we were not bringing in terrorists who had infiltrated the flow of Syrian refugees. We simply cannot be sure. Please watch our video on this question, and contact your Senators and Representatives today. Let them know that you are not afraid of widows or orphans, but of the proven danger of terrorism slipping past American defenses that have grown feeble under this President.

Also see:

Escaped Muslim Civilians: Islamic State’s Utopia Is a Failure

Reuters/Stringer

Reuters/Stringer

Breitbart, by Mary Chastain, Dec. 3, 2015:

A new report from The New York Times joins the long list of articles that shows the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) is failing at its attempt to establish a Caliphate paradise for Muslims in Syria and Iraq.

The Times related the story of one former civilian attemping to live under ISIS rule: a technician who stayed behind in Syria after his town was conquered. ISIS offered him his same job of pumping oil at three times the salary. The man accepted the offer, but soon realized the money was not worth it. It grew dangerous when ISIS started executing suspected spies. Then President Bashar al-Assad’s forces bombed the region, destroying their homes and work. He noted that watching the money coming in from oil “financing the jihadists” instead of schools and hospitals ultimately led him to make the dangerous voyage out of the Caliphate.

“We thought they wanted to get rid of the regime, but they turned out to be thieves,” said the technician.

The man eventually fled to Turkey.

ISIS has released numerous propaganda videos and photos to lure people to the territories they have conquered, in particular women and civilian men. Families, its propaganda boasts, will cement ISIS rule, as children grow up indoctrinated by the Sunni jihadists. The Islamic State has largely failed in keeping those civilians once they make the trek, however, as airstrikes and ISIS fighters acting “like an organized-crime ring rather than their defenders” scare them away. Human smugglers have managed to build an industry on sneaking Muslim civilians out of ISIS territory.

“So many people are migrating,” explained a teacher, who escaped to Turkey. “ISIS wants to build a new society, but they’ll end up all alone.”

Those who can provide essential services are no longer around. Residents in one town said the jihadists placed a construction worker, for example, in charge of medical services. In another town, the women do not have a doctor, as ISIS does not allow men to examine females.

Last year, The Washington Post also interviewed people in Turkey who fled ISIS in Syria:

In the Iraqi city of Mosul, the water has become undrinkable because supplies of chlorine have dried up, said a journalist living there, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect his safety. Hepatitis is spreading, and flour is becoming scarce, he said. “Life in the city is nearly dead, and it is as though we are living in a giant prison,” he said.

In the Syrian city of Raqqa, the group’s self-styled capital, water and electricity are available for no more than three or four hours a day, garbage piles up uncollected, and the city’s poor scavenge for scraps on streets crowded with sellers hawking anything they can find, residents say.

One video showed women and children begging for bread:

These reports contradict the ISIS propaganda. In January, the terrorist group used British hostage John Cantlie in a video that portrays life in Mosul, Iraq, “as business as usual.” ISIS captured Iraq’s second-largest city in June 2014.

“It’s not a city living in fear as Western media would have you believe,” he said. “It’s just a normal city going about its daily business.”

The video is no longer accessible online, but it showed Cantlie touring through filled markets and operating hospitals. People appeared content.

They also used Cantlie in a propaganda video for Aleppo, Syria, to show life in the city as productive and normal. Shots from the video included people farming, praying at mosques, and children at school.

A few months later, ISIS issued a tourism brochure to show off the glorious life in Mosul. The Daily Mail reported:

Images of the Mosul marketplace show pizzas and succulent burgers being cooked amid bustling stalls packed with all manner of sweet treats and toys for children.

Men are seen browsing the stalls nonchalantly, seemingly oblivious to the fact the city is an ISIS stronghold and on the frontline of the Iraqi regime’s freshly launched fightback against the terrorists.

Trays of sweet baklava give a sense of abundance in the crisis-hit city, which is considered key to ISIS presence in Iraq thanks to the millions of pounds generated each day from the militant-held oil fields dotted around Nineveh province.

ISIS terrorists also display photos on social media:

IS prop

IS prop 2

IS prop 3

IS prop 4

Despite the propaganda, more and more escaped residents from these cities paint a realistic picture of life under ISIS.

“Public support is important, and they don’t have it,” the technician told The New York Times. “People heard good words from them but didn’t see anything good come out of it.”

Also see:

Cruz v. Rubio: Shots Fired, but What’s the Plan?

Getty Images

Getty Images

Breitbart, by Dr. Sebasria Gorka, Dec. 2, 2015:

As Donald Trump’s lead amongst Republic presidential candidates shows signs of faltering, conservative blue-on-blue attacks will exponentially increase as those who feel they have the most to gain from the fall of “the Donald” position themselves against their rivals for the candidacy crown.

The latest broadside – or rather fusillade, given its intensity – has come from Senator Ted Cruz and is aimed squarely at Sen. Marco Rubio.

In a lengthy interview for Bloomberg, Cruz attacks the fellow Cuban-American senator as a reckless adventurist as unfit to lead on matters of national security as Democrat frontrunner and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Cruz links Rubio support for Clinton’s involvement in the Obama administration’s policy to dethrone Muammar Gaddafi to the subsequent terrorist attack in Benghazi that led to the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, and to a general “military adventurism” that does not serve American interests.

Whilst it is disheartening to see two young presidential candidates on the right battle each other given the greater target that the Democrat slate surely represents, the obvious fact is that the 2016 election will be fought in the arena of national security and this will not be the last duel of its kind.

After the recent ISIS attacks in Paris, the question must be asked (and answered): what does the right have in way of a plan that is better than the current White House approach, which apparently sees “climate change” as not only the most important threat to national security, but also somehow part of the explanation for the rise of jihadist violence in general?

Is Senator Cruz right in saying with regard to the rise of ISIS, as he does in the interview, that “we have no dog” in the war in Syria? Is the carnage unfolding day by day in the Middle East really just another version of the scenario in Libya, and is Rubio just “repeating the very same mistakes” Clinton and Obama committed?

It is actually easy to agree with Senator Cruz that any likely replacement for Assad will probably be far worse for Syria and America than if he retains control in Damascus. But does it naturally follow that Syria’s war has nothing to do with the safety of this nation, and the safety of Americans in America?

After the attacks in Paris, that is a very hard argument to make.

Senator Cruz appears to be resorting to the same type of straw-man argument that was used recently by the White House to bulldozer through the nuclear “non-treaty” with Iran. In that case, we were told that if America does not sign the deal, then the only other possibility is war with Iran. Why?

Why does the fact that removing Assad is a bad “neocon” idea (and yes Senator Cruz liberally uses the neocon label in a most pejorative sense, associating the putative “cabal” with Rubio’s policy stances), automatically mean America has no interests in Syria? No interests in a war in which one of the actors, namely ISIS, has established a Caliphate, declared America and the West its mortal enemy, and just sent its operatives to Europe to kill infidels?

And this is not even just about Syria, Iraq, or Paris.

As my wife and I have recently documented in our report on the domestic ISIS threat in America, ISIS is already here and intent on killing our citizens.

In the last 20 months, law enforcement authorities have killed or arrested 82 ISIS supporters in the U.S. Of these jihadists, half were planning to travel to the Middle East to fight for ISIS in Iraq or Syria. 19% were higher grade facilitators, the talentspotters who identified those willing to join the Holy War and effect their physical deployment into the warzones of the Middle East.

But a full 29% of those arrested or killed had no intention of traveling anywhere. They had decided by themselves, or under ISIS direction, that the best way to serve the new Caliph and the new “empire of Islam” was to kill American infidels here in the United States.

At the same time, the unclassified data is clear: we are arresting on average three times as many ISIS suspects per month here in the U.S. than we have arrested Al Qaeda suspects on average per month since 9/11.

In English: ISIS’s domestic recruiting here in America is 300% more successful that Al Qaeda’s has been, and fully a third of the people they recruit are planning to execute Paris-type atrocities in America’s cities.

In his attempt to define himself in contrast to his fellow presidential candidate, and in some form as a “third way” figure when it comes to national security, Senator Cruz offers a simple litmus test: military action should only be considered if there is “a real threat” to American security. Is the interdiction of ISIS jihadis in the U.S. planning to kill Americans in our own cities “a real threat?”

I would suggest it is rather difficult to answer that question in the negative.

As a result, the next question to Senator Cruz should be: what kind of military action do you propose? Destructive criticism is ever so easy. Constructive criticism less so.

I will be suggesting to the Senator’s team that if his test still stands, we now need to hear from him what his plan for military action is.

Just because Hillary and the neocons made things worse in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, does not mean that there is no right way to use force when faced by a threat that is committed to our destruction.

Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D. holds the Major General Matthew C. Horner Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University, Quantico, and is the Chairman of the Threat Knowledge Group. Follow him on Twitter @SebGorka.

Syrians are a Terror Threat, Here are the Numbers

ht_ISIS_twitter_mssg_01_mt_140814_16x9_992-lanczos3Sultan Knish, by Daniel Greenfield, Nov. 29, 2015:

Syria is a terror state. It didn’t become that way overnight because of the Arab Spring or the Iraq War.

Its people are not the victims of American foreign policy, Islamic militancy or any of the other fashionable excuses. They supported Islamic terrorism. Millions of them still do.

They are not the Jews fleeing a Nazi Holocaust. They are the Nazis trying to relocate from a bombed out Berlin.

These are the cold hard facts.

ISIS took over parts of Syria because its government willingly allied with it to help its terrorists kill Americans in Iraq. That support for Al Qaeda helped lead to the civil war tearing the country apart.

The Syrians were not helpless, apathetic pawns in this fight. They supported Islamic terrorism.

A 2007 poll showed that 77% of Syrians supported financing Islamic terrorists including Hamas and the Iraqi fighters who evolved into ISIS. Less than 10% of Syrians opposed their terrorism.

Why did Syrians support Islamic terrorism? Because they hated America.

Sixty-three percent wanted to refuse medical and humanitarian assistance from the United States. An equal number didn’t want any American help caring for Iraqi refugees in Syria.

The vast majority of Syrians turned down any form of assistance from the United States because they hated us. They still do. Just because they’re willing to accept it now, doesn’t mean they like us.

If we bring Syrian Muslims to America, we will be importing a population that hates us.

The terrorism poll numbers are still ugly. A poll this summer found that 1 in 5 Syrians supports ISIS.  A third of Syrians support the Al Nusra Front, which is affiliated with Al Qaeda. Since Sunnis are 3/4rs of the population and Shiites and Christians aren’t likely to support either group, this really means that Sunni Muslim support for both terror groups is even higher than these numbers make it seem.

And even though Christians and Yazidis are the ones who actually face ISIS genocide, Obama has chosen to take in few Christians and Yazidis. Instead 98.6% of Obama’s Syrian refugees are Sunni Muslims.

This is also the population most likely to support ISIS and Al Qaeda.

But these numbers are even worse than they look. Syrian men are more likely to view ISIS positively than women. This isn’t surprising as the Islamic State not only practices sex slavery, but has some ruthless restrictions for women that exceed even those of Saudi Arabia.  (Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front, however, mostly closes the gender gap getting equal support from Syrian men and women.)

ISIS, however, gets its highest level of support from young men. This is the Syrian refugee demographic.

In the places where the Syrian refugees come from, support for Al Qaeda groups climbs as high as 70% in Idlib, 66% in Quneitra, 66% in Raqqa, 47% in Derzor, 47% in Hasakeh, 41% in Daraa and 41% in Aleppo.

Seventy percent support for ISIS in Raqqa has been dismissed as the result of fear. But if Syrians in the ISIS capital were just afraid of the Islamic State, why would the Al Nusra Front, which ISIS is fighting, get nearly as high a score from the people in Raqqa? The answer is that their support for Al Qaeda is real.

Apologists will claim that these numbers don’t apply to the Syrian refugees. It’s hard to say how true that is. Only 13% of Syrian refugees will admit to supporting ISIS, though that number still means that of Obama’s first 10,000 refugees, 1,300 will support ISIS. But the poll doesn’t delve into their views of other Al Qaeda groups, such as the Al Nusra Front, which usually gets more Sunni Muslim support.

And there’s no sign that they have learned to reject Islamic terrorism and their hatred for America.

When Syrian refugees were asked to list the greatest threat, 29 percent picked Iran, 22 percent picked Israel and 19 percent picked America. Only 10 percent viewed Islamic terrorism as a great threat.

By way of comparison, twice as many Iraqis see Islamic terrorism as a threat than Syrians do and slightly more Palestinian Arabs view Islamic terrorism as a threat than Syrians do. These are terrible numbers.

Thirty-seven percent of Syrian refugees oppose US airstrikes on ISIS. 33% oppose the objective of destroying ISIS.

And these are the people whom our politicians would have us believe are “fleeing an ISIS Holocaust.”

Seventy-three percent of Syrian refugees view US foreign policy negatively. That’s a higher number than Iraqis. It’s about equal to that of Palestinian Arabs.

They don’t like us. They really don’t like us.

Obama’s first shipment of Syrians will include 1,300 ISIS supporters and most of the rest will hate this country. But unless they’re stupid enough to announce that during their interviews, the multi-layered vetting that Obama and other politicians boast about will be useless.

It only took 2 Muslim refugees to carry out the Boston Marathon massacre. It only took 19 Muslim terrorists to carry out 9/11.

If only 1 percent of those 1,300 Syrian ISIS supporters put their beliefs into practice, they can still kill thousands of Americans.

And that’s a best case scenario. Because it doesn’t account for how many thousands of them support Al Qaeda. It doesn’t account for how many of them back other Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas that had widespread support in Syria.

While the media has shamelessly attempted to exploit the Holocaust to rally support for Syrian migrants, the majority of Syrians supported Hamas whose mandate is finishing Hitler’s work. The Hamas charter describes a “struggle against the Jews” that culminates in another Holocaust. Bringing Hamas supporters to America will lead to more Muslim Supremacist violence against Jews in this country.

But all of this can be avoided by taking in genuine Syrian refugees.

While Obama insists on taking in fake Syrian refugees, mainly Sunni Muslims from UN camps who support terrorism and are not endangered in Jordan or Turkey, both Sunni countries, he is neglecting the real refugees, Christians and Yazidis, who are stateless and persecuted in the Muslim world.

Instead of taking in fake refugees who hate us, we should be taking in real refugees who need us.

Obama and Paul Ryan have claimed that a “religious test” for refugees is wrong, but religious tests are how we determine whether a refugee is really fleeing persecution or is just an economic migrant.

The Sunni Muslims that Obama is taking in do not face persecution. They are the majority. They are the persecutors. It’s the Yazidis and the Christians who need our help. And these real refugees, unlike the fake Sunni Muslim refugees, are not coming here to kill us. They truly have nowhere else to go.

Syria is a disaster because its rival Muslim religious groups are unable to get along with each other. Bringing them to this country will only spread the violence from their land to ours. Instead of taking in the religious majority that caused this mess through its intolerance, we should take in their victims; the Christians and Yazidis who are being slaughtered and enslaved by ISIS.

During the entire Syrian Civil War, Obama has only taken in 1 Syrian Yazidi and 53 Christians.

It’s time that we had a refugee policy that protected the persecuted, instead of their Muslim persecutors. It’s time that we listened to Syrian Christians in this country who oppose bringing tens of thousands of Syrian Muslims to terrorize their neighborhoods the way that they are already terrorizing Syrian Christians in Germany.

Syrian Muslims are a nation of terrorist supporters. They destroyed their own country. Let’s not let them destroy ours.

It’s time that we kept our nation safe by doing the right thing. Let’s take in the real Christian and Yazidi refugees and let the fake Sunni Muslim refugees and terrorist supporters stay in their own countries.

Sexual Jihad: The Reckoning

Samra Kesinovic Source: EuroPics

Samra Kesinovic
Source: EuroPics

The ISIS Study Group, Nov. 25, 2015:

Last year one of our members wrote “Sexual Jihad Part II: Reality Sinks In” describing the misadventures of Austrian teens Samra Kesinovic and Sabina Selimovice. In that particular piece we had stated Sabina was killed and that Samra would soon be killed herself. Well, Young Samra’s “Sexual Jihad” came to an end sometime this month when she was beaten to death after a failed attempt to flee the Islamic State (IS) capital of Raqqa City.

Teenage ISIS ‘poster girl’ who travelled to Syria ‘beaten to death after trying to escape Raqqa’
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/teenage-isis-poster-girl-who-6891521#ICID=sharebar_twitter

Sexual Jihad Part II: Reality Sinks In
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4240

Oh they did get to serve Baghdadi’s “Caliphate,” but their mission wasn’t to fight – it was to make babies. Things went bad for these two shortly after arriving in Syria, where they were auctioned off to a pair of Chechen foreign fighters-who promptly knocked them up. This was likely the product of repeated rape that tends to happen with naive girls attempting to join IS in the hopes of snagging their very own “Antonio Banderas.” If you also recall in “Sexual Jihad Part II: Reality Sinks In,” IS’ Media Division had gained control of the girls’ Facebook accounts and had been using them as poster girls in an IO campaign to get others to join the “jihadist paradise.”

This pic has been circulating around several media outlets, but our sources say these are two separate women in the image Source: EuroPics

This pic has been circulating around several media outlets, but our sources say these are two separate women in the image
Source: EuroPics

Girls like Samra and Sabina are sold at a premium due to their fair skin, light-colored hair and green/hazel eyes. Jihadists love making such girls their “wives,” which is really just a part of the overall sex slave experience in the “Land of al-Sham.” That said, these two went into this arrangement willingly while so many others – Kurdish, Shia, Yazidi Christian and non-compliant Sunni women – do not. For those women, they undergo forced conversion which usually involves gang-rape and beatings. By the time they’re sold off to some lucky jihadists, these women are broken vessels of the people they once were. In other words, they become “the Walking Dead.” Rather ironic that two individuals who joined this terror organization ended up meeting the same fate as the others, yes?

The girls’ tragic story also involves pro-IS preacher Mirsad Omerovic aka “Ebu Tejma.” Of course he denied that he radicalized them and helped facilitate their trip to Syria. However, he was arrested for his involvement in a support network associated with one of the IS foreign fighter pipelines coming out of Europe. Mirsad is also reported to have personally recruited 64 jihadists and facilitated their travel to Syria. Like his British counterpart Anjem Choudray, he’s a welfare queen despite all the money he made “under the table” in his terror fundraising” activities prior to his arrest. Since Mirsad’s 2014 arrest the Austrian government has really taken big steps towards getting ahead of the problem by passing sweeping anti-terror laws that include banning the IS and al-Qaida flags as terror symbols and takes away Austrian citizenship from any Austrian citizens who go to Syria. If this sounds familiar, it should – Germany’s Abzeichengesetz or “Badge Law” that outlaws Nazi symbols, flags, uniforms and insignia is the model.

RCustody extended for Islamic hate preacher
http://www.thelocal.at/20141212/custody-extended-for-islamic-hate-preacher

ISIS DEATH CULT BRIDES AND MISRAD OMEROVIC AKA “EBU TEJMA”
http://moderndiplomacy.eu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=462:isis-death-cult-brides-and-misrad-omerovic-aka-ebu-tejma&Itemid=487

Austria passes anti-terrorism law
http://www.thelocal.at/20141211/austria-passes-anti-terror-law

Austrian parliament passes anti-terrorist law
http://www.salon.com/2014/12/11/austrian_parliament_passes_anti_terrorist_law/

Mirsad Omerovic Source: The UK Daily Mail

Mirsad Omerovic
Source: The UK Daily Mail

People like Mirsad prey on the young and naive due to their vulnerability. They also know how to fully exploit European “multiculturalism” by carving out little fiefdoms for themselves in neighborhoods that the local police refuse to patrol, creating breeding grounds for more brainwashed people. Once an individual becomes brainwashed, the only way to respond is to put them down like a rabid animal and permanently shut down the institutions that radicalized them. Its the only way. The two Austrian girls are only symptoms of the greater sickness. France has publicly come out saying that they’re thinking about closing down radical Mosques and Islamic centers. This is a great first step, but they need to follow through by actually doing it. The problem is they should’ve done this years ago – not just start talking about it this month. They should’ve been asking themselves if the people trying to enter the EU already share European values. If they don’t – then they don’t have any business entering any EU country. Period. Then those individuals identified need to be investigated. Unfortunately, the years of multiculturalism has caught up to the EU and at this point it really doesn’t matter what Austria or France does now – its TOO LATE. The EU is already dead. Some may disagree, but they’re mistaking the final twitches of the EU corpse for “life.” However, its not too late for the US, although the window is getting smaller. Until the American people finally wake up to realize that political correctness (multiculturalism) is national suicide, things like the Paris attack and girls realizing too late that joining IS was a mistake will continue in both frequency and scale.

Other Related Articles:

Abdelhamid Abaaoud DEAD-What Happened? Will USGOV Finally Take This Threat Seriously?
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=9490

ISIS External OPs and Paris Attack UPDATE as of 18 NOV 15
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=9449

Nail in the Coffin: ISIS’ Anwar al-Awlaqi BN Sends Fighters to Europe
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=8562

The Jews: Europe’s Canary in the Mine on the Growing Jihadist Threat
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4939

Jihadist Infestation: Terrorism Results in Copenhagen Chaos
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4831

Swedish Cartoonist Targeted in Denmark Shooting – Europe in Serious Trouble
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4822

ISIS Attack Plot Thwarted In Belgium- A Sign Of Things To Come?
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1890

Islamic State: The French Connection
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=3875

Cultural Suicide: Why Allowing Syrian War Refugees to Enter Western Countries is a Pandora’s Box to More Attacks
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4987

DHS Loses 6,000
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1580

***

NATO is harbouring the Islamic State

1-uPGE-GLlKmVVEvfyKjqzHwWhy France’s brave new war on ISIS is a sick joke, and an insult to the victims of the Paris attacks

INSURGE INTELLIGENCEby Nafeez Ahmed, Nov. 19, 2015:

“We stand alongside Turkey in its efforts in protecting its national security and fighting against terrorism. France and Turkey are on the same side within the framework of the international coalition against the terrorist group ISIS.”

Statement by French Foreign Ministry, July 2015

The 13th November Paris massacre will be remembered, like 9/11, as a defining moment in world history.

The murder of 129 people, the injury of 352 more, by ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS) acolytes striking multiple targets simultaneously in the heart of Europe, mark a major sea-change in the terror threat.

For the first time, a Mumbai-style attack has occurred on Western soil — the worst attack on Europe in decades. As such, it has triggered a seemingly commensurate response from France: the declaration of a nationwide state of emergency, the likes of which have not been seen since the 1961 Algerian war.

ISIS has followed up with threats to attack Washington and New York City.

Meanwhile, President Hollande wants European Union leaders to suspend the Schengen Agreement on open borders to allow dramatic restrictions on freedom of movement across Europe. He also demands the EU-wide adoption of the Passenger Name Records (PNR) system allowing intelligence services to meticulously track the travel patterns of Europeans, along with an extension of the state of emergency to at least three months.

Under the extension, French police can now block any website, put people under house arrest without trial, search homes without a warrant, and prevent suspects from meeting others deemed a threat.

“We know that more attacks are being prepared, not just against France but also against other European countries,” said the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. “We are going to live with this terrorist threat for a long time.”

Hollande plans to strengthen the powers of police and security services under new anti-terror legislation, and to pursue amendments to the constitution that would permanently enshrine the state of emergency into French politics. “We need an appropriate tool we can use without having to resort to the state of emergency,” he explained.

Parallel with martial law at home, Hollande was quick to accelerate military action abroad, launching 30 airstrikes on over a dozen Islamic State targets in its de facto capital, Raqqa.

France’s defiant promise, according to Hollande, is to “destroy” ISIS.

The ripple effect from the attacks in terms of the impact on Western societies is likely to be permanent. In much the same way that 9/11 saw the birth of a new era of perpetual war in the Muslim world, the 13/11 Paris attacks are already giving rise to a brave new phase in that perpetual war: a new age of Constant Vigilance, in which citizens are vital accessories to the police state, enacted in the name of defending a democracy eroded by the very act of defending it through Constant Vigilance.

Mass surveillance at home and endless military projection abroad are the twin sides of the same coin of national security, which must simply be maximized as much as possible.

“France is at war,” Hollande told French parliament at the Palace of Versailles.

“We’re not engaged in a war of civilizations, because these assassins do not represent any. We are in a war against jihadist terrorism which is threatening the whole world.”

The friend of our enemy is our friend

Conspicuously missing from President Hollande’s decisive declaration of war, however, was any mention of the biggest elephant in the room: state-sponsorship.

Syrian passports discovered near the bodies of two of the suspected Paris attackers, according to police sources, were fake, and likely forged in Turkey.

Earlier this year, the Turkish daily Meydan reported citing an Uighur source that more than 100,000 fake Turkish passports had been given to ISIS. The figure, according to the US Army’s Foreign Studies Military Office (FSMO), is likely exaggerated, but corroborated “by Uighurs captured with Turkish passports in Thailand and Malaysia.”

Further corroboration came from a Sky News Arabia report by correspondent Stuart Ramsey, which revealed that the Turkish government was certifying passports of foreign militants crossing the Turkey-Syria border to join ISIS. The passports, obtained from Kurdish fighters, had the official exit stamp of Turkish border control, indicating the ISIS militants had entered Syria with full knowledge of Turkish authorities.

The dilemma facing the Erdogan administration is summed up by the FSMO: “If the country cracks down on illegal passports and militants transiting the country, the militants may target Turkey for attack. However, if Turkey allows the current course to continue, its diplomatic relations with other countries and internal political situation will sour.”

This barely scratches the surface. A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer from a major raid on an ISIS safehouse told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”

The same official confirmed that Turkey, a longstanding member of NATO, is not just supporting ISIS, but also other jihadist groups, including Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. “The distinctions they draw [with other opposition groups] are thin indeed,” said the official. “There is no doubt at all that they militarily cooperate with both.”

In a rare insight into this brazen state-sponsorship of ISIS, a year agoNewsweek reported the testimony of a former ISIS communications technician, who had travelled to Syria to fight the regime of Bashir al-Assad.

The former ISIS fighter told Newsweek that Turkey was allowing ISIS trucks from Raqqa to cross the “border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February.” ISIS militants would freely travel “through Turkey in a convoy of trucks,” and stop “at safehouses along the way.”

The former ISIS communication technician also admitted that he would routinely “connect ISIS field captains and commanders from Syria with people in Turkey on innumerable occasions,” adding that “the people they talked to were Turkish officials… ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks.”

In January, authenticated official documents of the Turkish military were leaked online, showing that Turkey’s intelligence services had been caught in Adana by military officers transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition via truck “to the al-Qaeda terror organisation” in Syria.

According to other ISIS suspects facing trial in Turkey, the Turkish national military intelligence organization (MIT) had begun smuggling arms, including NATO weapons to jihadist groups in Syria as early as 2011.

The allegations have been corroborated by a prosecutor and court testimony of Turkish military police officers, who confirmed that Turkish intelligence was delivering arms to Syrian jihadists from 2013 to 2014.

Documents leaked in September 2014 showed that Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan had financed weapons shipments to ISIS through Turkey. A clandestine plane from Germany delivered arms in the Etimesgut airport in Turkey and split into three containers, two of which were dispatched to ISIS.

A report by the Turkish Statistics Institute confirmed that the government had provided at least $1 million in arms to Syrian rebels within that period, contradicting official denials. Weapons included grenades, heavy artillery, anti-aircraft guns, firearms, ammunition, hunting rifles and other weapons — but the Institute declined to identify the specific groups receiving the shipments.

Information of that nature emerged separately. Just two months ago, Turkish police raided a news outlet that published revelations on how the local customs director had approved weapons shipments from Turkey to ISIS.

Turkey has also played a key role in facilitating the life-blood of ISIS’ expansion: black market oil sales. Senior political and intelligence sources in Turkey and Iraq confirm that Turkish authorities have actively facilitated ISIS oil sales through the country.

Last summer, Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, an MP from the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party, estimated the quantity of ISIS oil sales in Turkey at about $800 million — that was over a year ago.

By now, this implies that Turkey has facilitated over $1 billion worth of black market ISIS oil sales to date.

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